Sumptuous Accommodations amid Mountain Terrain
The Resort at Squaw Creek's golf course looks out over lush prairies and mountainsides covered in pine trees. It’s a gorgeous scene in sunny weather, but summer is technically off-season here. In the distance, you can see the six peaks of Squaw Valley USA, a sort of Shangri-La that served as the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. When the landscape is blanketed with snow, the mountains are dotted with skiers and snowboarders. The golf course is transformed for the season into the Nordic Center, leaving it crisscrossed with tracks left by dogsleds, cross-country skis, and snowshoes.
Whatever the season, The Resort at Squaw Creek serves as a convenient home base from which to enjoy the outdoors; it’s tucked into the Sierra Nevada on Lake Tahoe's north shore. Hiking trails wind through the property, and on hand you’ll find a private outdoor ice rink and an onsite fly-fishing center. Guests can also feel free to stop by the outdoor pool complex's plunge pool and 120-foot water slide and choreograph water ballets in its heated lap pool and three hot tubs.
Six Peaks Grille, one of the resort’s four dining venues, serves up breakfasts of fresh fruit, lox, and a goldmine of pastries kept warm in white linens. The breakfast buffet allows you to load up on made-to-order omelets, bacon, french toast, and pancakes.
The resort’s 405 rooms and suites underwent a $53 million renovation in recent years. The deluxe forest-view room has a marble shower and a grand picture window that overlooks Tahoe National Forest. In fact, the entire guest tower—where all the rooms are located—is sheathed in lustrous black glass to maximize views of the valley.
Squaw Valley USA: Hiking and Cycling Through Mountains on Lake Tahoe's North Shore
Located about a 15-minute drive from North Lake Tahoe, Squaw Creek is situated amid some of northern California's most revered scenery and varied terrain. The resort rents out bicycles by the hour, including Marin cruisers for adults, Trek mountain bikes for kids, and tagalong carts for infants and beloved pet rocks. Use these to hop on Truckee River Trail, a gently rolling, paved path that follows a crystal-clear river 7 miles to Tahoe City. There, you’ll happen upon a paved trail with views of the Lake of the Sky and access to Tahoe Vista's beaches 10 miles to the north.
Lupine and buckwheat paint the mountainside, and the High Camp here is a nice jumping-off point to hike on some dry, pebbly trails. If you’re unaccustomed to the high altitude, you may find yourself easily winded on even short hikes; still, the 1.5-mile jaunt uphill to Emigrant Peak is worth the trip, as you get 360-degree views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada.
Quaint clapboard buildings housing shops and restaurants line the Village at Squaw Valley. One of these is PlumpJack Cafe, the brainchild of former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom. In a dimly lit dining room, the restaurant serves seasonal contemporary fare such as the inventive ceviche cone, a feuille de brick cone filled with tuna, avocado, and ginger and topped with chili threads ($15).